Midjourney and Stable Diffusion Ask US Court to Dismiss Artists’ Lawsuit

Copyright Law

Artificially intelligent (AI) image generators Stable Diffusion and Midjourney have asked a U.S. federal court to dismiss a group of artists’ class-action lawsuit against them — arguing that that the AI-created pictures were not comparable to their work.

In a world first, in January, three artists — Sarah Andersen, Kelly McKernan, and Karloa Otiz — sued Stability AI, developer of Stable Diffusion, DeviantArt, which developed AI art generator DreamUp, and Midjourney, founded by David Holz.

Andersen, McKernan, and Otiz accused the companies of widespread copyright infringement by exploiting the artists’ work in generative AI systems.

The trio alleged that Stable Diffusion’s and Midjourney’s unauthorized copying of their works to train the systems and the creation of AI-generated images in their styles violated their rights.

The artists’ lawyer, Matthew Butterick branded the AI image generators as being “a 21st-century collage tool that remixes the copyright works of millions of artists whose work was used as training data.”

However, according to Reuters, Stability AI and Midjourney have fired back at the group of artists suing them in a filing on Tuesday.

The companies asked a San Francisco federal court to dismiss the artists’ proposed class action lawsuit, arguing that the AI-generator images are not similar to the artists’ work and that the lawsuit did not note specific images that were allegedly misused.

Stability AI argues that the artists “fail to identify a single allegedly infringing output image, let alone one that is substantially similar to any of their copyrighted works.”

Meanwhile, Midjourney’s motion contends that the copyright infringement lawsuit also does not “identify a single work by any plaintiff” that it “supposedly used as training data.”

DeviantArt, an online artist community with a service that allows users to create images through Stability’s Stable Diffusion system, reiterated those arguments. DeviantArt further says that it is not liable for the AI companies’ alleged misconduct.

“Even taking Plaintiffs’ claims at face value, DeviantArt did none of the things that supposedly give rise to the liability asserted,” it said.

This is not the only lawsuit AI image generators are currently facing. In February, photo agency Getty Images filed a lawsuit against Stable Diffusion — claiming that the AI image generator Stable Diffusion has stolen over 12 million of its copyrighted photos. Getty Images is seeking up to $150,000 per infringement, or up to $1.8 trillion.

Image credits: Header photo licensed via Depositphotos.